Sex and Body Image

Did you know I have a live weekly show on Facebook with my brother Kyle Andrew? We’re on every Wednesday at 9:00 pm EST to talk dating, relationships, healthy living and sex. You can find us right here. On last night’s show we tackled sex and body image with our special guest co-host Nekky Jamal. Nekky is not only one of my life partners, he’s also an amputee who wears a full leg prosthesis. Some really interesting stuff around disability and sex came up, of course.

Here are some links to some fascinating articles on sex and body image:

A Psychology Today post on Understanding Core Erotic Wounds

A Huffington Post look at Body Image and Low Sex Drive

A post on How to Love a Sexual Partner with Body Image issues over at Ravishly.com

Tips For Overcoming Body Image Issues in the Bedroom:

1. Stop looking only to celebrities and online personalities for beauty standards. These people are ‘professional beauties’ who devote their working hours to looking a certain way, and have a team of people to help them with that. They also have retouching.

2. Social Media isn’t much better. I definitely use selfie filters to get the best lighting and to create photos I feel good about posting. Most of us only post the very best highlights of our life. Social media isn’t any more real than other types of media, even if you know your contacts IRL.

3. Look at real people, in person, who are in your age demographic (or beyond) and start to really notice what you find attractive about them. Sit in a cafe or other busy public place and people watch.

4. Take note of how your standards of attractiveness compare to how you feel about yourself? Are your personality standards realistic considering your lifestyle?

5. What kind of messaging do you giving yourself when you’re in front of the mirror? I can be pretty brutal on myself. Work on changing the message by replacing a negative thought with something you like about your physical appearance or your personality. This will take some practice, but try to keep things in perspective. Get rid of the notion that self-love should be easy. It isn’t. Our bodies aren’t perfect, but we can move from brutal self-criticism to gratitude for our health, our safety, our privilege.

6. Take better care. First take a look at how you feel about your body and work on changing your messaging. Then start to approach any physical lifestyle changes you might wish to make, like healthier eating or more regular exercise. Without changing the way you think, changing the way you behave will be much harder.

7. Talk about it with your partner. Be as open and vulnerable as you can. If negative body-image is affecting your sex drive, this will help illuminate any challenges you might be having in the bedroom. Think of ways you can both help to make you feel more confident and comfortable.

8. As you’re learning how to change your self-image, take stock of what does make you feel more comfortable sexually, and implement these things. Do you feel more confident with makeup on? Dim lighting? Lingerie? Music? Run with these ideas so you are creating a comfort zone for yourself that feels safer while you work on healing

If your negative body-image issues are tied to disordered eating, please know that without professional help, these behaviors are nearly impossible to change

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre

Eating Disorder Hope Resource Page

Some Awesome Books About Body Image
Here are some books that I can recommend about body image. If you purchase these via the links below, you’ll be helping to support my writing.

A Book About Masturbation Every Woman Needs

One of the great perks about building a life around passion is getting my hands on a variety of tools to help normal people just like you and I live more passionate lives. When I learned that the owner of my favorite sex-positive boutique in Toronto had published her first book, and that it was about masturbation, I was very excited to get my hands on it, so to speak. Sex Yourself is such a great title, isn’t it? A call to action like that leaves little room for excuses, and it’s the kind of passionate fun anyone of us can enjoy, whether or not we’re partnered up. If you’ve never read a book about masturbation, this is an amazing start. If you love sex manuals and sex education material as much as I do, you’re going to need to add Sex Yourself, by Carlyle Jansen (Quiver Books) to your permanent collection. Read on, and I’ll tell you why.

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Ten Things Women Wish Men Knew About Sex

Today’s post is an excerpt from my upcoming book Keeping It Up: A Guy’s Guide to Great Relationship Sex.  Most women have no problem talking about what’s on their minds when it comes to sex. It just takes the right person to ask the questions, and the lid to Pandora’s box slides right off. After interviewing hundreds of readers, here are ten things women wish men knew about sex.

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Top Ten Tips for A Sexier Life

Lovers, here’s a little secret for you. Over half the women I know who are challenged by maintaining their sex drive tell me that life is too busy to focus on sex. Responsibilities like work, home upkeep, children and pets all seem to get in the way. Often, we are the very last thing on the to-do list, and we’re usually too tired for sex. These tips for a sexier life are for you.

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